Jan 16, 2023
How can we account for malaria cases during the dry season, when mosquitoes are typically dormant? It turns out that trees might be the root of the problem...
Malaria is often thought of as a seasonal disease. Transmission peaks during the rainy season – when standing water creates the ideal conditions for mosquitoes to thrive – and falls in the dry season when mosquitoes become dormant. But in those dryer months, the disease doesn’t go away completely. In some areas, mosquitoes remain active, continuing to bite and transmit malaria to humans. So how can we account for those cases? It turns out trees might be the root of the problem… Humidity created by water evaporating from tree leaves might be creating ideal microclimates for malaria to thrive. To investigate, researchers placed mini-loggers onto trees and granaries near where people sleep in nine study sites across Southern Zambia. Humidity and temperature in these areas was associated with local health centre-reported incidence of malaria.
About The Podcast
The Johns Hopkins Malaria Minute podcast is produced by the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute to highlight impactful malaria research and to share it with the global community.